A team of three computer engineering majors has developed a prototype for an emergency mass notification clock, which won the top prize and $5,000 in Rochester Institute of Technology's first STEAM competition.
The contest, sponsored by RIT's Center for Public Safety Initiatives, encouraged teams of students to develop ways public safety problems can be helped with the use of solutions involving science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
"We were all very pleased with the kind of products that were proposed, the detail and the practicality of them," said John Klofas, director of CPSI and a criminal justice professor in RIT's College of Liberal Arts. "They were all dynamite."
The winning team-Tyler Krupicka of Newberg, Ore; Ketan Reddy of Manlius, N.Y.; and Jeremiah Zucker of Plattsburgh, N.Y.-plans to use the prize money to further develop their idea, which they have named Clockwyse, which can receive digital alerts and display them with sounds and flashing lights.
"What's different about our system, you could take tablets or computer parts and turn them into emergency beacons," Krupicka said. "It's something you could place in a classroom and replace a clock that's already there."
They plan to attend trade shows in the fall and test their systems out in various colleges. Anyone wishing to help test their latest models are urged to contact the team.
The fact they won't be together-Krupicka and Zucker have accepted software engineering jobs with Intuit in San Diego, while Reddy will be working as an analyst with Citigroup in New York City-won't impede their progress. They have spent the past year developing Clockwyse remotely while working at co-ops.
"Over the course of the year, we developed a more polished system as part of our senior design class," Krupicka said. The team decided to enter the contest after seeing posters about it.
The team, which has added James Reilly, a fifth-year computer science major from Morristown, N.J., recently won third place and an additional $1,000 in the New York Business Plan Competition's Information Technology and Software division.
"It feels pretty good to win because we put a lot of effort into this," Zucker said.
Second prize, and $2,500, was awarded to Italo Sayan, fourth-year finance major from Moquegua, Peru, and Nathan Raw, a fourth-year management information systems major from Canandaigua, N.Y., for developing a program that uses a mathematical algorithm to help predict burglary patterns.
And honorable mention went to industrial design graduate students Dave Villarreal of Fayetteville, N.Y., and Aishwarya Uniyal of India for better emergency communication design.
Klofas said the STEAM contest will likely return every other year in order to give teams time to think and develop their ideas.